How does web hosting affect SEO and which one is the best?

Today’s Ask a Question SEO question comes from Julio in Houston, who asks:

“How does hosting affect SEO, and in particular what features should you look for when looking to host an affiliate website? “

That’s a great question, and I see a lot of misinformation on the Internet about it.

Unfortunately, web hosting is a huge niche in the affiliate space. This means that people are really getting to write all kinds of articles and make all kinds of claims about how their hosting can help push your SEO beyond the limit.

I actually did a quick google search for some SEO hosting questions and all The result I found was from a site that also hosted affiliate links.

Advertising

Continue reading below

I promise you there won’t be any hosting recommendations or affiliate links in this article.

The truth is, web hosting matters very little for SEO. Now I can imagine what some of you are saying… and below we’ll get to what really matters.

4 web hosting factors that can impact SEO

You will need to consider these factors when choosing a web host as they can impact SEO in a variety of ways.

1. Page speed

We all know page speed is a ranking factor. The importance of a factor remains to be debated (although Google says it is a “tiny” factor) but that is not the point here.

Advertising

Continue reading below

If you choose a small web host without the bandwidth you need, your speed could be affected. The type of plan you choose is also very important here.

If you have a major news site, for example, you won’t want to host on a shared plan with limited bandwidth that can’t support breaking news traffic.

You will need to decide based on your website needs whether you want shared hosting, virtual private server, dedicated server, or scalable cloud-based hosting solution.

All of this can be perfectly fine for SEO, depending on what your website is doing and how much traffic / resources it needs.

2. Limitations of accommodation

Some web hosts have weird limitations. I had a client who hosts on a platform that doesn’t give them access to their own .htaccess files. They had a limit of 1000 redirects that they could do when in theory it should be unlimited.

Again, this doesn’t necessarily affect SEO per se – but it could, depending on what you’re trying to do with your website.

Make sure your web host can handle all the normal, day-to-day things you want to do on your site.

3. Location

With CDNs like Akamai and Cloudflare, host location matters a lot less these days than before.

Advertising

Continue reading below

Where it still matters is legally and internationally. If you want to do business specifically in China or Russia, for example, it is best to host the site in China or Russia.

If you want to do something illegal in some countries but not in others (like bitcoin pool, sports betting, or royalty reviews), make sure you don’t host in those countries.

Again, these things aren’t really SEO, but could definitely hurt your SEO plans.

4. Availability

This is something we used to talk about a parcel with hosting in the days of dial-up and T1 lines.

Advertising

Continue reading below

It’s not much of an issue today with CDNS and redundancies and things like Microsoft Azure or Amazon cloud services.

Yes, parts of the internet and cloud sometimes go down, and yes, you should choose a reliable hosting company that will minimize your downtime. But these types of problems are usually only temporary.

Things that don’t really matter

One thing I constantly hear about is Class C IPs. This topic was very popular among spammers who wanted to hide their spam from Google.

The theory was that if they are all on the same hosting environment, Google can find them more easily. While there is some truth to this, I have found that there are many easier ways to uncover spam networks from people who do not take into account the noise and uncertainty of who might as well. be on your server.

Advertising

Continue reading below

Analytics and advertising tags, social widgets, themes, and HTML comments have all already betrayed people’s spam.

Google knows this, and they also know that you have no control over who else is hosting in your neighborhood – so they probably won’t blame you.

One of my other pet peeves is “___ hosting” where ___ is a platform like WordPress or Angular or React or AEM or Contentful or whatever CMS / framework you want to use.

Of course, some web hosts specialize in this. But if you know what you’re doing, there’s no reason you can’t choose your server setup from a good web host.

Advertising

Continue reading below

You can control Windows / Linux or Cpanel / Plesk or any server software up to OS, PHP version and MySQL (or any language of your choice) to get the optimal configuration for what you have. need.

Now if you’re just starting out and don’t want to manage a server (like me), you might want to take advantage of a maintenance team who know your choice of architecture to help you out – but they don’t. . really an SEO decision.

More resources:

Advertising

Continue reading below


Editor’s Note: Ask a SEO is a weekly SEO advice column written by some of the industry’s top SEO experts who have been handpicked by The Search Engine Journal. A question about SEO? Fill out our form. You might see your answer in the next #AskanSEO article!

James S. Joseph